Researchpalooza, an annual Michigan Medicine Ice Cream Social on August 8th that is organized by the Medical School Office of Research, is a fun opportunity for 91 exhibiting organizations of the Medical School to display what makes them an integral part of the Michigan Medicine machine. 

This year, members of our MCIRCC Catalyst Team brought their A-game, earning the event’s Most Spirited Award and a $50 Zingerman’s gift card, determined by input from last year’s winner (Medical School Office of Regulatory Affairs) and Ann Curtis, the Medical School Office of Research’s Director of Marketing Communications. Their criteria included looking for an organization that came up with an engaging activity (not necessarily expensive) and is having fun interacting with attendees.

While providing valuable information to passersby is ultimately the main objective, our team also wanted to share a nostalgic, yet MCIRCC applicable, experience with everyone who visited the table. 

Enter, tabletop “Operation MCIRCC.” 

Throughout most of the event, there was a real “buzz” around our large-scale version of the classic Operation game using a magnetic wand to remove large magnetic body parts. It didn’t seem to make a difference whether the surgeon playing was actually experienced in the OR, the threat of the buzzer going off during removal made for many steady hands. We’re sure that our science/ER themed music playlist could’ve only helped, too. Think “Bad Medicine” (Bon Jovi) and “Urgent” (Foreigner).       

The reoccurring response to the game – “I haven’t played this in years.” The candy participation prize (with the promise of more in exchange for the removal of more body parts) seemed to bring out everyone’s inner child and several actual children with the youngest being only a few years old. 

MCIRCC Team members who encouraged players (ok, there was some bantering, too) included: Sue Wozniak – Events Specialist, Denise Poirier – Administrative Specialist, Megan VanStratt – Director of Marketing & Communications, Raysha Simon – Marketing & Communications Specialist, and Meagan Ramsey – Proposal Development Unit Manager.

For a good time – and some funded and promoted research, you know where to go!